The weather was fine and the ports pleasant and surprisingly enjoyable for this late April cruise on the QV. The ship is modern and familiar enough to me as I had sailed last year on another vista class ship, the Eurodam, in the Caribbean. There are some differences though which are interesting in their own right if you are a Cunard past passenger- as I was from- the QE2 or QM2, or know the Eurodam:
1- This is a cruise ship and not an ocean liner. There is nothing especially impressive such as the world class decor of QM2 or iconic 60s design of QE2. About this ship, the Cunard marketing and design people have bought the full package of "Victoriana" with gilded this, smoked that, bevilled edges, blue and brown swirly carpets, orangerie conservatory themes, royal flourishes, small metal and polished wood balistrades and other embellishments everywhere that to me make this ship more of a theme park from our great grandparents' era than my own. The juxtaposition is confusing and overwhelming, to me at least. I understand that the Queen Elizabeth, essentially the same ship due out this fall, will be less jarring with the art deco theme of the original QE and its main difference will be the one sitting "club" Britannia class whose dining room will take the place of the Chart Room of the QV.
2- The cabin is top grade (A1) in the Britannia (tourist class) line but disappointingly has a much smaller bathroom and few shelves and storage than the VS cabin of roughly the same size on Eurodam. Also, be aware that as this cabin is under the lido (dining) area you can expect some noise in the early morning from carts shifting about the dining area above.
The food was good and service good. The cabin steward was excellent. I was impressed by the Todd English restaurant where we had 2 meals.
I think that the most important asset of Cunard is their dedicated officer staff, many of whom are on board. It's a credit to the line that these dedicated people remain as it makes our day and especially the receptions like being among old friends. It was terrific to see Captain Chris Wells from QE2 here and to learn that he will bring out QE. I would look forward to seeing him and other officers there or on QM2 in the future.